Thursday, October 05, 2006

Life as an Ordinary Radical

I am in the midst of reading Shane Caiborne's book The Irresistible Revolution - Living As An Ordinary Radical. In ways it is much like Donald Miller's books, as Shane looks at faith from a different perspective than most, which I really like. But it is different too, in that while both inspire you to rethink your paradigm for following Christ, Shane's style leads you to a more practical end, and challenges you to not only think and see things differently, but to live a life that is evidence of that change.

I got my first taste of Shane's book through some link on some blog a few months back, and was hooked and had to get the book. If you click on the book cover above, it will link you to a chapter of the book in .pdf about his working with Mother Teresa for a summer. It is such good stuff, that I don't think you will be able to resist getting the book for yourself to read the rest of the chapters.

While I am tempted to cut and paste most of the chapter here for you to read, I will hold back and just give a couple teasers from the sample chapter linked at The Simple Way.

When Paul writes, “The life I live I no longer live but Jesus lives in me,” he meant it. Over and over, the dying and the lepers would whisper the mystical word namaste in my ear. We really don’t have aword like it in English (or even much of a Western conception of it). They explained that namaste means “I honor the Holy One who lives in you.” I knew I could see God in their eyes—was it possible that I was becoming a Christian, that in my eyes they could catch a glimpse of the image of my Lover?

I came forward and sat in the doctor’s seat and began staring into the man’s eyes, and the decision had already been made. I began carefully dressing the man’s wound. He stared at me with such intensity; it was like he was looking into my soul. Every once in a while he would close his eyes in pain. When I was finished, he said to me that sacred word I had come to love, “Namaste.” I smiled with tears in my eyes, and whispered “Jesus.” He saw Jesus in me. And I saw Jesus in him. I remember thinking back to one of the stained-glass windows of my United Methodist Church bought for over $100,000. I saw a clearer glimpse of Jesus in this leper’s eyes than any stained-glass window could ever give me. I knew that I had not just looked into the eyes of some pitiful leper in Calcutta, but I gazed into the eyes of Jesus, and he had not just seen some rich, do-gooder, white kid from America, but he had seen the image of God in me. That is nuts. If we began to truly believe that we no longer live but Jesus lives in us, as Paul says, our world would look very different. Living in the leper colony, I felt like I had entered the Gospels. They became three-dimensional.

It is full of good, difficult, challenging, inspiring, sure-to-stir-some-people-up stuff. The back cover of the book says "Shane's message will comfort the disturbed, and disturb the comfortable..."

Which are you?


Brianna Heldt said...

I'm so glad you're enjoying the book! Excellent, thought provoking, and my goodness Shane really walks the walk.

skidmarksontheside said...

that sounds like an incredible book... I may need to look it up...